Southend's Raymond House closure put on hold

By Jessica Elgot, May 18, 2012
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Supporters of the closure-threatened Jewish Care home in Southend have persuaded the charity to delay its plans in the hope of finding a buyer.

A working group of three representatives apiece of Jewish Care and the Southend community will explore the viability of keeping Raymond House open if sufficient investment can be generated.

Since Jewish Care’s announcement of closure a fortnight ago, relatives of some of the home’s 25 residents have expressed interest in moving them to other Jewish Care facilities. The 38-place home is losing £300,000
a year.

Five Southend community members met Jewish Care trustees at the charity’s Rubens House in Ilford on
Monday.

Southend and Westcliff Hebrew Congregation president Alan Gershlick and vice-president Stephen Salt had prepared a presentation on the potential for finding a buyer — but with no concrete proposal in place. no
timeframe has been set for the working group to report back.

Jewish Care chief executive Simon Morris said: “We are working collaboratively with the Southend Jewish
community and would, of course, be pleased if the community can identify a viable option that would permit us
to keep the home open. There is no certainty that this will be the outcome but we are ready to explore the position through the joint working group.”

Mr Gershlick was “hopeful a longterm solution can be achieved”.

Stuart Levinson, whose mother-in-law is a Raymond House resident, said that as long as relatives were kept
informed, the working group was a “positive step.” his family had no plans to move his mother-in-law. “We are still keeping the faith that Jewish Care will stay looking after her.”

    Last updated: 3:59pm, October 16 2012